Several news outlets reported yesterday that Senator Mitch McConnell is promoting a “legislative correction” to the HISA laws now that a federal appeals court has concluded it is Unconstitutional. Once again, McConnell plans to bypass the normal process that would allow hearing and debate on his legislation by attaching his “fix” to a “Must Pass” bill such as a year ending spending bill. This path is like the way McConnell slipped the current law into Covid Relief legislation in 2020.
The Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) has regulated horse racing in Louisiana for over a century. The LSRC is in the unique position to know what is best for Louisiana racing and Louisiana racing participants. The Commission and our Louisiana legislators work with industry participants to formulate laws and rules which protect our horses and jockeys and create a fair playing field for all participants.
The Louisiana HBPA urges all industry participants to contact your U.S. House Representative and your U.S. Senators (contact information provided below) and voice your opposition to these “back room” deals that circumvent your right to be heard. Specifically, ask your congressmen to block any effort by HISA for another quick fix that got us in this mess in the first place. Our horsemen’s representative wants to work with ALL parties for new, sensible legislation that allows our jobs-heavy industry and related agribusiness to thrive and improve, rather than to choke from ill-advised legislation snuck through by a well-financed minority.
You can use this link to identify and contact your Representative:
Contact information for the U.S. Senators from Louisiana is:
Senator John Kennedy
416 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Office number 202-224-4623
Senator Bill Cassidy
520 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Office number 202-224-5824
Clear Creek Stud is holding their annual Stallion Presentation Saturday, December 3rd from 10:30 am until 2:00 p.m., at their farm in Folsom, Louisiana.
Several dignitaries will be on hand to speak and visit with guests, including Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Mike Strain, State Senator Beth Mizell, LAHBPA Executive Director Ed Fenasci, LAHBPA President Benard Chatters, LTBA President Warren Harang, and Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill, the top litigator on the Louisiana Attorney General’s staff. This is an opportunity for horsemen and women to share ideas and concerns with each other as well as political leaders across the state.
The highlight of the day will be the presentation of Clear Creek Stud’s 2023 stallion roster. Clearly Now (Horse Greeley-Bend, by Arch) is a multiple graded stakes winning millionaire . His first foals are just beginning to run, with his first winner breaking his maiden at two by 4 ¾ lengths. Proven sire Custom For Carlos (More Than Ready-Meadow Oaks, by Meadowlake) is the 2022 leading sire of Louisiana-breds. His current leading runner, Janet is Ready, has already won three stakes as a juvenile. Imperial Hint (Imperialism-Royal Hint, by Lahint) is a multi-millionaire, four time Grade 1 Stakes Winner and record setting sprinter. His first crop are very attractive and will be yearlings in 2023. Mr. Money (Goldencents-Plenty O’Toole, by Tiznow) is an exciting new addition to the Clear Creek Stud roster. A Grade 1 placed multiple graded Stakes Winner, he is one of only two sons of Goldencents at stud anywhere. His first crop are yearlings of 2023, and they are exceptional. Star Guitar (Quiet American-Minit Towinit, by Malagra) completes the 2023 stallion roster. Unequivocally the best Louisiana-bred runner in history, Star Guitar is a perennial leading sire in Louisiana. With seven crops to run, he has an impressive 43 stakes horses to date including three graded stakes horses.
A catered buffet lunch will be provided starting at 11:30, with the stallion presentation beginning at 12:00 noon. A family friendly event, there will be pony rides, Santa Claus and many children activities to entertain younger visitors.
Clear Creek Stud Stallion Presentation
Saturday, December 3, 2022
10:030 a.m. till 2:00 p.m.
Opening Ceremony 11:00 a.m.
Buffet 11:30 a.m.
Stallion show 12:00 noon
Special Guest Speakers
Including State Officials, Representatives from
the Racing Commisssion and HBPA
Door Prizes and more
11591 Hwy 1078
Folsom, LA 70437
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority and the Federal Trade Commission have each filed emergency motions seeking stays of a federal judge’s injunction effectively blocking the Authority from enforcing its regulations in the states of Louisiana and West Virginia.
The motions were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.
The injunction, ordered July 26 by Judge Terry A. Doughty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division, was in conjunction with a lawsuit filed against the FTC, HISA and its board members and CEO by the states of Louisiana and West Virginia, their respective racing commissions, Jockeys’ Guild, Inc., Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association and five individuals.
Federal District Judge Terry Doughty July 29 denied a motion filed by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to stay enforcement of a preliminary injunction entered July 26 against HISA’s enforcement of its rules in Louisiana and West Virginia.
At the same time, HISA appealed the preliminary injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The online record appears to direct the court clerk to certify the appeal record by Aug. 15.
HISA also filed a motion asking Doughty to clarify that the preliminary injunction applies to named plaintiffs only and not to all of plaintiffs’ members nationwide. The Jockeys’ Guild and Louisiana Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association, who are among the plaintiffs, publicly took the latter position after the injunction was entered. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include only five individuals.
Dear Louisiana Horsemen & Racing Association Members,
Currently, implementation of HISA (Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act) commences on July 1, 2022, with the HISA “Safety Program”. There will be two events that Louisiana Downs will be hosting in our Sky Room, that anyone with a LSRC license is invited and encouraged to attend.
1. Monday June 13th , 2022, Q&A Webinar Presentation – -(SKY ROOM) (10:30am-11:30 cst) -A zoom/ webinar call with HISA representatives, answering questions that “covered persons” may have. Topics on this webinar will be implementation, registration, allocation of fees, and rules of HISA.
The webinar meeting will be held physically in the Sky Room. Horsemen, and Association members who will not be at our facility can call in via zoom (see attached). Louisiana Downs will send the LAHBPA, as well as the LTBA, dial in information. Our Racing Ambassador Roxanne Tanner will moderate the call.
Please submit your questions for webinar to:
Roxanne Tanner (RTanner@ladowns.com); 318-741-2516
Jennifer Sokol (Jsokol@ladowns.com) 318-741-2512
2. Friday June 17th , 2022; Registration Day -–(SKY ROOM) (10:30am -?) HISA representatives will be at Louisiana Downs assisting horsemen, and association members with registration. Anyone with a LSRC license, can come to the Sky Room, and register with HISA representatives at this event.
Our association hopes both events will help clarify questions, as well assist in registration. Members of our Racing Team will be at these events as well to assist you.
General Manager of Racing Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack 8000 E Texas Street, Bossier City LA 71111 Office:318-752-6503; MDennison@ladowns.com Zoom Call / Webinar Information
Event: Louisiana Downs; Q/A Webinar Presentation with HISA Representatives
Date: Monday June 13 th ,2022
Time: 10:30 am (cst)
Location: Sky Room, Louisiana Downs or Dial in Zoom
Dial in by phone information:
Meeting ID: 840 6165 4184 Passcode: 815033
Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 840 6165 4184 Passcode: 815033
***Call is moderated by Louisiana Downs, please mute your phone or computer during the call. ****
Make sure your microphone is always on mute, only opening it when it is your turn to speak.
NOTICE TO ALL MEMBERS
The Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) was enacted in 2020 and is current Federal Law. As a result, it can be fully enforced by the Federal Authorities, including but not limited to, US Marshalls, US Attorney’s and even the US National Guard, if necessary. The initial implementation of HISA commences on July 1, 2022, with the HISA “Safety Program”. The Federal Government has appointed a board for all aspects of HISA to be applied to United States horse racing, without exception.
The funding for this initial implementation is by way of an assessment placed on each race track based upon a combination of race days and purses available. The 1 st responsible party for the payment of this assessment is each state’s racing commission. If the commission declines this assessment, then the obligation is the responsibility of the race tracks. In addition to this assessment, other numerous mandates, which include, track surface safety, jockey physicals, complete identification of all participating personnel, concussion protocols, jockey whip rule and penalties, and an array of other federal regulations, will be enforceable. As time progresses, even more regulations will be imposed by HISA associated with medication.
Shortly after HISA became law, under President Trump’s signature, the Louisiana HBPA conducted strategy meetings with the National HBPA and its other affiliates to combat the effects of HISA. After no success administratively, Louisiana HBPA joined in a federal lawsuit that was filed in Texas seeking to have HISA declared unconstitutional. Simultaneously, the Louisiana HBPA worked closely with the Louisiana Attorney General, such that, the state of Louisiana joined other States in an action filed in Federal Court in Kentucky, challenging the legality of HISA. The Texas cause of action was unsuccessful at the district court level and was appealed to the United States fifth circuit in New Orleans. The fifth circuit recently issued a ruling questioning HISA’s authority in connection with the Federal Trade Commission. Unfortunately, this ruling, does not prevent HISA from becoming effective on July 1, 2022. It does, however, provide a glimmer of hope that with additional appellate practice, relief may be granted to combat the effects of HISA. As of this date, no decision has been rendered from the Kentucky district court.
The LAHBPA again requests that its members and all participants in Louisiana Horse Racing contact and ask their United States Representatives and Senators to repeal HISA.
With an eye toward the future of our industry, Clear Creek Stud will once again be making a $5000 Scholarship Donation in the name of their clients to a college student with Louisiana based connections to the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse Breeding and Racing Industry.
Clear Creek Stud recognizes that for many of the people who perform the hard work of this industry day in and day out, the rewards are often not financial. “We want to help the children who come from these families who put in the long hours and hard work that are essential to keep our industry in operation,” says Val Murrell, general manager of Clear Creek Stud.
The scholarship recipient will be chosen by the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (LaHBPA) and based on their opinion and evaluation of need and merit.
Interested students should send a letter and resume to Eddie Fenasci at the La.H.B.P.A. office by Friday, March 4, 2022. Letters can be mailed to La.H.B.P.A. attention to Eddie Fenasci 1535 Gentilly Blvd. New Orleans, La. 70119 or email to email@example.com.
The recipient will be named on the final day of the Fair Grounds meet, Sunday, March 27, 2022.
By T. D. Thornton
A two-phase fix to the allegedly unsafe new lighting system at Delta Downs is underway that could allow the Louisiana track to switch back from afternoon programs to traditional weekend night cards by Nov. 12.
The recently installed light-emitting diode (LED) system, which was necessitated by the old lights getting wrecked by a hurricane in August 2020, was only operational for three races on the first night program of the season Oct. 15 before a horse fell at the top of the stretch.
Fueled by complaints from some jockeys and trainers that areas on the turns were dangerously dark and shadowy, the remainder of that card and the Oct. 16 program were cancelled. Delta resumed racing during afternoons without lights Oct. 20-23.
Jazz Fest annually leaves the Fair Grounds grass course in need of recovery.
The recent COVID-19-related cancellation of this fall’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival should leave full turf racing opportunities this fall and winter at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, according to Bernard Chatters, president of the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.
Fair Grounds annually hosts the music festival, an event known as Jazz Fest, typically in the spring, drawing thousands onto its infield area and leaving its grass course in need of recovery. The event, a staple in New Orleans tourism, was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, and this year it was postponed until the fall before festival officials scrapped it Aug. 8, citing “exponential growth” of COVID-19 cases in the area. It is scheduled to resume next year from April 29-May 8.